A World We Always Dreamed Of (Geun-tae Han, CEO of Hans Consulting)
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- Registration Date : 2016-04-05
A five-year old boy asked the following riddles to the adults in a quiz show: “This is small but it has everything in it,” “It has all the people in it,” and “The clothes of this man do not get wet even if he goes into the water.” What are the correct answers? They are seed, memory, and mountain spirit, respectively. Everyone does not see the same thing. The world greatly changes depending on how you see it. Thinking differently from others is the minimum requirement for survival today, and the core of different thinking is creativity.
Cool without air conditioners―inspired by a termite hill
Mick Pearce, a South African architect, received the following task from Old Mutual, an insurance company. “Please build for us an attractive and functional building with no air conditioner!” But, it has never been easy to build a comfortable building without air conditioner in such a hot country. He has always been much interested in biology, and he started to observe the way how termites keep their hills cool. He found that termites keep the inner temperature constant by continuously creating new draft holes or closing the old ones. He got his idea here, and this led to the birth of the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Zimbabwe. He made draft holes on the building roof to discharge the hot air and holes underground to allow the inflow of cold air. With this building structure, the inner temperature of the building could be always maintained at 24 degrees, and only 10 of the energy used by ordinary buildings was used. He was inspired by the life of the termites that seemed to have nothing to do with the building.
Three terms of creativity
The greatest enemy of creativity is a stereotyped way of thinking. Doing things in conventional way, without a doubt, is a short to failure. You can only survive in the future when you cultivate your creativity and imagination. Then, what should you do?
First, you should accumulate the knowledge and resources. To solve a problem, you need to accumulate at least the minimum level of knowledge and resources. It is more important than anything else to create a foundation of your growth through learning and education during your childhood and to accumulate experiences in your field when you are grown up. To produce some results, you need to have knowledge at a level higher than average in your field. You should collect information, see much, and listen to the experts. This is the principle of the ‘transformation of good quality’, which means you should first accumulate something quantitatively to achieve the change qualitatively.
Second, there should be an environment and systematic support for creativity. Creativity cannot survive in an instruction- / control-oriented organization. Creativity always blooms at a place where new ideas are encouraged. Failure should be tolerated. When you do nothing, you never fail. Instead, you will never succeed. An environment that always encourages you to attempt something new and do something creative is important. 3M, a champion of innovative businesses, encourages its employees to spend 15 of their office hours for a project they devised and provides a maximum support of USD 50,000 for testing their new ideas in the market. Such systematic support brings out the creativity of the employees.
Third, there should be a pressure. Most people want all the conditions to be perfect. They want sufficient money, sufficient information, and sufficient time. They even expect that they can like the people around them. However, such things never happen. You need creativity because your surroundings are very limited. Take the invention of clothespins for example. An American youth called Walter Hunt needed to make USD 1,000 within 10 days to marry the girl he loved. After a short while of agony, he invented the safety pin, which had a bendable needle end. One need not worry about being pricked by it, and it can also solidly fix needles. Thus, he was able to make USD 1,000 by selling the patent of the safety pin. A goal without a deadline is not a goal. A creative idea can only be produced when you feel pressured.
There is nothing new under the sun. You should interpret something freshly and apply it to something new. The reason you don’t come up with new ideas is because you never think. Think fiercely with a sense of goal. Once in a while, depend on your intuitions and wait for your ideas to ripen in your subconsciousness. Then, you may come up with creative ideas.